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Paul Coletti | 17:40 UK time, Monday, 20 November 2006

VOTE NOW . . .

Should the Dutch ban the Burqa?

The proposed Burqa ban in The Netherlands is tonight’s topic and we're live from the East of Eden Café in Linnaeus Straat 11, Amsterdam. If you are in the area then come and join us on air right now. Alternatively you can phone us using the contact details on the right > > > >

Burqa Ban.

Bob has been in Holland for 3 years: “I’ve never seen a burqa in Holland and I don’t see what the fuss is about”

Gerard has been in Amsterdam for 20 years: “I’ve seen a burqa once or twice. The proposal is a dangerous provocation.”

Paul Schefferfrom the University of Amsterdam: “I’m against the ban but the Burqa is a symbol of oppression. They are marginalising themselves by wearing it.”

Someone has just said: “Rita Verdonk, the minister of Integration, has been looking for a stick to bash the muslim community ever since the demise of Theo Van Gogh.”

Fred Teeven: “We support the idea because in public we think it necessary to see people’s faces. The government and our party think that if you want to integrate it is necessary to look people in the eye. We think there will be problems if you cannot communicate with each other.”

Gerard: “This argument about looking people in the eye is rather contrived. It is based on fear and mistrust.”

Fred Teeven: “The government took this idea from the liberal party. It’s not for election purposes.

Ros is just asking for a quick poll – would you feel safer if the ban comes in?

Fred Teeven: “The point is: people live in Dutch society, we are liberal and open.”

Lodewijk: “It is undemocratic to prohibit a certain type of clothing. There’s a problem all over the world between muslims and non-muslims.”

Bram: “Perhaps banning is not the best idea but wearing a burqa is a symbol of oppression and a sign of intolerance. I don’t think a ban is good because to start with it’s only 200 women but in essence we should see the burqa and the veil as a sign of self-marginalisation.”

Matt: “I support the ban. The burqa is oppressive and goes against the social norms of society.”

Mark: “I’m against the ban. It’s an unworkable solution to a non-existent problem.”

Matt: “You say non-existent but it’s never been researched. It’s good to make a moral stance.”

Mark: “I’ve lived here 19 years and never seen a burqa.”

Matt: “if you go to the West you see Burqas.”

Michiel, 30-years-old: “This ban is unnecessary. I hope that labour wins the elections on Wednesday. If that happens we’ll have a muslim in parliament.”

Samira Haddad: “In earlier times there were reasons to wear it. But now it is not ok. The Koran does not want it.”

Someone has just said : “This is not a religious discussion. What’s in danger is our civil rights. What’s next . . ? First the burqa . . then muslims have to wear special clothes.”

Anon: “Women are excluding themselves from the public sphere.”

Mumtaz in the UK : “I believe people should be allowed to wear what they like. A ban in a bank would be sensible . . .I could understand that but a blanket ban -- absolutely not. My children are intimidated by spiky earrings, should we ban them.”

Anon: “This new law is actually isolating one small section of the community. Once you do that we’re on dangerous ground.”

Muqtar in Kuwait: “Burqa women are not oppressed. You think that is a threat?”

“Burqas are not a sign of openness.”

“Might this provoke some people to wear a Burqa who otherwise would not?”

“Banning it is another thing. I’m in favour of an open debate.”

Edith from California: “From a political standpoint it’s ok to ban burqas. If people want to wear a burqa why don’t they go to countries where they can wear them? When you come to the Netherlands you must abide by the rules.”

Louisa is an immigrant to the Netherlands, she’s from Trinidad and Tobago: “I have to say I support this ban. I don’t support a ban on the veil. I’ve come to love Dutch culture.”

“Holland is a liberal society. We should thrive on differences.”

A great debate and the phones were red hot! Good night and sleep tight.


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